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This story is No. 3 in the series "The Harbinger's Tale". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless you are Rory Gilmore.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Gilmore Girls(Moderator)acsFR18615,20656821,0347 Feb 0810 Oct 08No

The Encounter

Disclaimer: Rory and all things "Gilmore Girls" belong to Amy Sherman-Palladino and others, including Warner Bros. Television. All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon and the late lamented Mutant Enemy. I don't claim ownership of anything beyond the story idea used to bring the two fandoms together here. This is an unauthorized, deriviative work.
Spoilers: Buffy Seasons 1 thru 7. GG - AU approximately post season 4/5 (maybe. Not sure yet.).
Summary: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless you're Rory Gilmore.
Author's Note: A series of ficlets. Not sure how many it'll take to tell the story I have planned yet but it'll be more than 5 and less than 20. Hopefully one every month or two.
Word count: 1,647 (1 of ?)

--- --- ---

She wasn't sure how, but Rory knew, before a single coherent thought crossed her mind, that this wasn't going to be a normal morning. There was something different going on in her head as she tried to grasp at some unfamiliar feeling. It wasn't that warm, fuzzy feeling she usually got in her head when a good dream had just ended but the outside world hadn't intruded yet. It was a different kind of drowsy, warm all over feeling, with a definite feeling of safety, though she wasn't sure from what.

It was like being wrapped in fluffy clouds, but not the pink cotton-candy kind. There was an awareness, a feeling that there was the possibility of something other than herself if she just opened her eyes. But awake wasn't something that happened suddenly. Her brain didn't just switch on. Her senses seemed to slowly send her brain new information in stages. She could almost detect a mental click as one sense after another started talking to her brain.

The first thing that fully registered was the smell of coffee. Not the reheated, sour tasting, paint removing brew that too many of the diners she'd stopped in as she'd worked her way west has served her. No, this was the toe curling, eye widening scent of coffee as only a disciple of the coffee cult she and her mother belonged to would provide. A rich member of the cult. As the rich aroma tickled her nose, she could almost hear the singing of the barefoot Columbian peasants as they picked the beans and hand washed white powder from them in their clear, cold mountain streams, watched over by grungy members of the Seattle Coffee Mafia.

The next thing to intrude on her cocoon was a rush of sounds. A door opening somewhere far away. Feet brushing lightly against a carpeted floor. A faint squeak of couch springs as someone sat down. A low rustle of movement that she couldn't quite identify. A phone ringing briefly before being silenced. A door opening again, followed by the hum of wheels as something moved closer. She strained to turn this all into a picture but her brain refused to cooperate.

The third thing she became aware of was the bed. This was not the musty, smelly, lumpy bed of the past week while she'd waited. The sheets had that slick, satiny feeling to them, just like the ones that one summer her mother'd insisted, in her slightly manic fashion, that cotton sheets were bad for the environment. It took her a moment to realize, as she stretched in the sinfully decadent bed - fingers and toes tingling, that there was nothing between her skin and the sheets. It was terrifying and exciting at the same time. Like her first time skinny dipping. But the feeling of satin sliding against her nipples was nothing like the sudden shock of cold water.

All together, it finally added up to enough brain activity to get her to open her eyes and sit up, losing the sheet she was lying under in the process. Rory reflexively tried to cover herself, desperately grabbing for it as it slid down. She wasn't sure what the social protocol was for waking up naked in someone else's bed, neither her mother nor grandmother having ever broached the subject, but continued nakedness was probably considered rude. And her mother, whom she suspected knew more about the finer points of morning-after etiquette, wouldn't be joining her in Vegas until later in the week.

Hearing a faint rustle, Rory cautiously looked up, her eyes taking in an unexpected sight. A blonde woman, dressed in one of those fluffy white hotel bathrobes, was curled up on a couch, watching her from the other side of the room. Delicately raising an eyebrow in a manner that Rory was sure had taken years to perfect but which she refused to be jealous of, the woman took a long sip from a steaming cup. Possibly of the ambrosia that had contributed to her waking up.

"Coffee?" she asked hopefully, her voice squeaking, her face undoubtedly turning red with what she knew was a first class blush, like that time she'd thought she'd seen Miss Patty kissing Kirk in the gazebo. Caffeine came first. Freaking out was a distant second in importance. Explanations and searching for her clothes could wait until a successful infusion had occurred.

Without saying a word, the woman pointed towards a low table in the center of the room.

Carefully wrapping herself in the sheet, Rory climbed out of the bed, the woman silently watching her every move. Her face burning from the attention, she quickly made her way over to the coffee, one end of the sheet trailing behind her like an orphaned wedding train. Pouring herself a cup, Rory paused to breath in the wonderful aroma wafting up from the cup she now held.

After blowing gently across the top of the dark liquid, she carefully took a sip. Involuntarily closing her eyes, she moaned in appreciation as the rich liquid rolled over her tongue and down her throat. Her faith in the universe restored, Rory focused on the other woman.

"Where am I? This isn't my room," she asked, after taking another restorative sip. She wondered if it were even her hotel, looking for some place other than the bed to sit, surprised at her own calmness. "Is there something in this coffee?" she mumbled as an afterthought.

"The coffee is just coffee," the woman said. "And this is my room." Her accent was recognizably Californian but nothing special. Rory felt a little disappointed. Her memory of the previous night was nonexistent but after waking up in a strange woman's bed, not that she'd ever imagined such a thing, she expected a sexy voice that would send tingles up and down her spine. Instead, she was getting a voice that wouldn't have been out of place coming from a bank teller or a school counselor.

"But I'm not feeling panicked, and I really should. I don't wake up naked in other people's beds. Ever. Especially when said other people are women. Not that there is anything wrong with that," Rory rambled, returning to the bed. "I just don't. And I don't remember anything but I don't have a hangover so that whole drunken debauchery thing my mother always warned me about must not have happened."

"It's a side effect," the woman told her, giving her an amused grin. "Give it a couple weeks. Your memory should start to come back."

"What's a side-effect? The memory loss? The crazy calmness? And what's it a side-effect of?" Rory asked. She could feel a faint twinge of panic but it felt very distant.

"Both are side effects of being drugged. The babbling is new though." The woman put down her cup and walked over to the bed. She seemed to almost glide, moving with a grace Rory found mesmerizing. Stopping in front of Rory, she examined her face in a way that sent a faint shiver down Rory's back. "I saw someone putting something in your drink last night but you drank it before I could stop you."

"What am I doing here, and shouldn't we tell the police?" Rory asked.

"I thought it was best to bring you back here until it wore off. And there's no proof you were drugged. That one doesn't show up in blood tests." She shrugged. "There's nothing the police could do about it."

"Oh." Rory felt faintly nauseous at what could have happened if her rescuer hadn't seen her being drugged. "The calmness is wearing off," She mumbled, suddenly wishing she hadn't drunk the coffee as it turned bitter in her stomach.

"You'll feel better after a shower," the woman told her, taking the cup from Rory's hands and placing it on the nearest flat surface. "And your clothes should be back from the hotel cleaners any time now."

"Thanks," Rory said, not resisting when the woman pulled her to her feet and guided her towards a door in another corner of the large room.

--- --- ---

The hot shower helped, though the mirrored walls, ceiling, and floor were a bit disconcerting, showing her parts of her body she rarely thought about. As she took a quick inventory, she wondered where the faint red marks, some round, others an odd half moon shape, came from. Maybe she was allergic to satin sheets? Rory giggled for a moment at the thought of how she could use this to shock her mother.

Feeling sufficiently waterlogged and amazed that her skin wasn't a bright red from the heat of the water, Rory finally climbed out of the shower and grabbed a large fluffy towel. Drying herself off, she idly wondered about the different things her skin had been exposed to - the satin sheets, the hot water, and now the towel. It was almost like a college psychology experiment. All she needed now was a mud bath and massage...

A knock on the bathroom door interrupted her before she could complete the thought. The door opened for a moment and her rescuer poked her head in, staring intently at her long enough for Rory to blush.

"Sorry, I've got to go," the woman said. "Need to catch a plane."

"But..." Surprised, Rory opened the bathroom door wider and watched as she threw a leather coat over one shoulder and a large overnight bag over the other.

"I called the front desk. Checkout isn't for another hour. Just drop off the room key on your way out," she said. "Call me if you have any questions." With those parting words, the woman stepped out of the room, closing the door behind her.

"Questions? I don't even know your name!" Rory said to the empty room. "Or where I am."
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